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Is there an easy way to remove artex?

We have some Artex in our living room that we would like to get rid of or cover. It is quite thick in places (about an inch) as it was put on in a style that looks like butter spread on a slice of toast. What would be the easiest way of getting rid of the Artex it or hiding it? Could we sand it down it the thickest places and then put up a thick coat of fresh plaster over the top to hide it? Or should we sand it right back and then skim the wall? Or is there a product that can be bought specifically for removing artex?

22 Answers from MyBuilder Plasterers

Best Answer

For artex ceilings we always overboard. Its a little more expensive but i could gaurentee there wouldn't be future problems.This ways cuts down on the dust and not having the worry of artex coming lose when skimming.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

mmmmmm.....everyones talking about what to do over a ceiling,yet question poster is asking about a wall :/

Scissorsister,are you absolutely sure it's artex?
Could be just normal finish plaster trowelled off 'old english'

Either way,get yourself some Febond Blue-Grit.
This is an excellent plaster bonding agent and works particulaly well if your wall has a painted surface as it contains a fine aggregate and will give a mechanical 'key' for the plaster.
Thistle Bond-it is also suitable but is at least twice the price of Febond.
A 5ltr tub will be enough for a decent sized wall.
Roller this on straight from the tub,don't dilute it with anything,then leave it to dry thoroughly for a minimum of 24 hours.
It's just like very thick,textured paint so it's easy to do yourself and will save you quite a bit on a plasterer doing it for you.
It's also coloured blue so very easy to see where you apply it.
Then hire yourself a decent spread to re-plaster it.
If he/she knows their stuff,they will know what to do.
Hope this helps.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

If the artex is old it could contain asbestos! Scraping or sanding it could make it airbourne.
In the past I have used a industrial wall paper steamer to remove it (solid walls only) this will make it wet and prevent dust, always double bag and tape close the waste and dispose of in the correct waste facility.
I would realy recommend leaving it and getting the artex plastered over.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Hi there
boarding over the WALL? He He. 2 coats of unibond (1 part unibond 5 parts water as a mix) and then either bond the wall first then unibond again before the finish coat or knock the artex lumps off and then use multifinish, thicker than a normal mix and a couple of coats to follow to give a smooth finish, ive plastered over more artex than i care to mention, a good end result every time and ive been plastering for 22 years
kind regards


Answered 16th Mar 2012

Do not disturb artex unless it has been tested and you are positive it does not contain asbestos! No exposure to asbestos dust particles is safe. Mesothelioma and asbestosis are horrible cancerus diseases caused by asbestos, on average killing 12000 to 15000 people in the US every year.

The easiest/safest soution is to get a plasterer to coat your wall/ceiling with PVA or Febond blue grit depending on how glossy your artex is. Apply a straightening coat of bonding then a skim of multi finish.
Job done!

Matt Smith, Smith Plastering Services


Answered 27th May 2015

if the celling is sound. you would be better off giving the artex a coat of bonding or hardwall first. then give it a skim. because if you just use plaster it will blow in a shorter time. roy


Answered 16th Mar 2012

The best way to eliminate any future problems is to overboard the ceiling. You could bond and then skim but problems may arise in the future.
Any artex used up until around the year 2000 could contain asbestos. Do not scrape or sand.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

If you choose to cover this over with board or plaster please ensure this information is transferred to future owners or any tradespeople you may have working in that vacinity. Somebody in the future could drill a hole in the ceiling and inhale asbestos particles. The best thing to do is have a sample checked so you know for sure either way.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Bond the artex ,then skim it .it's as simple as that


Answered 16th Mar 2012

Hi scrape all the high spots off and PVA 2 times , then skim with plaster. If the artex is a thick type of pattern you may need to give it a coat of bonding first

All the best Wayne


Answered 17th Mar 2012

Speak to your insurance company, they may test the artex for asbestos, and have a firm come in and remove it and finish it, and then they may not.
Regards Fredy


Answered 26th Feb 2011

Without knowing the area of your ceiling and the condition its difficult to say. If your ceiling is fine and not falling down then we would knock off any protruding areas of artex and PVA the whole celing a couple of times and then apply a thicker first coat of thistle and a good second coat to cover and finish. leaving you with a smooth ceiling.
Hope this helps.


Answered 16th Mar 2012

Hello,under normal circumstances it should be possible to seal the surface and skim-over the artex but i think the patern/texture you have is too thick. I don't like the idea of over-boarding because regardless of whether you batten and board or stick the boards to the wall-it will reduce the size of your room and it seems like a sledge-hammer to a pea-nut.A good plasterer would probably be able to knock-off the artex lumps,seal and plaster-but some bonding may be necessary.Regards Barry(finbar)


Answered 16th Mar 2012

Best way to deal with Artex walls is to apply two coats of pva followed by two coats of skim. No problems should arise if done properly. Hope that helps. Regards, Paul.


Answered 19th Jun 2013

Yes over board the ceiling, if you are not confident skimming it, apply a dry line tape, rub it down and then paint it. This way there is no problem with dust, asbestos and paying for a plasterer to skim it. job done


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Why dont you just overboard it and skim the artex !


Answered 16th Mar 2012

Yeahi agree with a lot of people on here, i suppose there are a few diferent ways of doing this type of job. Bonding, Boarding, or jus skim (depending on thikness etc) if you are going to do skim, make sure once your 1st coat as gone on, make sure this coat stiffens up a little, then apply the second, otherwise its a bit like thick goey c lay, and will be difficult to cover. (the 1st coat will take out the depth of the artex, 2nd to make it flat and paintable)


Answered 18th Feb 2011

Hi scissor sister[ 2 options ] apply pva solution bond & skim, fine stipple, heavy artex cover bark pattern or similar little more expensive option overboard & skim.kev


Answered 16th Mar 2012

My response is do not apply anything that's going to weaken the original plaster if it's not in a stable condition why on earth would you consider putting extra weight on it and allow gravity to make it fail in other words it depends on the existing layer and if its sound then you can seal it and apply bonding and then a skim coat


Answered 17th Sep 2017

Firstly it can be “steamed” off using a wallpaper steamer. This can be a very messy and also very slow process. It cannot be done at speed or with the steam plate left in one area too long…if it is, there is a possibility of damaging the ceiling or wall behind it and also the risk that the artex will liquefy and run everywhere


Answered 8th Apr 2018

you can get kits to test for ASBESTOS.
If their is asbestos get cerafied persion remove it
do not cover it


Answered 30th Jan 2020

Yes, I agree with the questions, but I think it would be best to get rid of everything altogether


Answered 9th Dec 2023

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